This time last year Nebraska was 5-6 and looking for that crucial sixth win in Boulder for a bowl game. Fresh off a 73-31 win over Kansas State, the Huskers were confident in their new starter Joe Ganz and hoped to beat fellow 5-6 team Colorado.
However, the Buffaloes finished off the Huskers 65-51, eliminating Nebraska from the postseason and securing their own spot in a bowl. They also gave Nebraska what it needed to finally fire its moronic head coach Bill Callahan.
This year Nebraska is 7-4 and already has their ticket to the postseason punched. Colorado is in the same position it was last year, 5-6 and looking for that crucial sixth win (Friday, Nov. 28 at 2:30c on ABC—watch it!).
Joe Ganz has started a few more games since then and now sits at 14th on the passing efficiency list, completing nearly 69 percent of his passes this season.
The Huskers look to avenge last year's loss in Boulder with a similar season-ending situation in Lincoln to keep Colorado from the postseason.
But last year was certainly not the first time these teams met.
For Nebraska, Colorado is their rival in the North Division and has been all the way back to the good ol' Big 8 days. The actual "rivalry" has only existed since 1982, when Colorado head coach Bill McCartney decided Nebraska and Colorado should be rivals and publicized the game as such.
Nebraska leads the rivalry series 18-6-1 and leads overall 46-18-2 in the teams' meetings.
The most notable meeting of the two teams, in my mind, was in 2001. Nebraska was No. 2 in the country, and No. 14 Colorado was looking to change that. From the start, Colorado dominated Nebraska on both sides of the ball, capitalizing on a phenomenal performance on the ground from running tandem Chris Brown and Bobby Purify, and beat the Huskers 62-36.
The part that probably stings most for Colorado fans is what happens next.
With the win over Nebraska, Colorado clinched the Big 12 North and faced Texas. Colorado avenged a 41-7 loss to the Longhorns in the season with a 39-37 victory and conference championship. Colorado seemed all lined up to face Miami (Fl.) in the national championship game.
Then, in a series of strange (and fortuitous, for me anyway) events, Nebraska jumped ahead of Colorado in the final BCS rankings and went to the national championship instead. Colorado was stuck with a Fiesta Bowl appearance against high-powered Oregon and began complaints (with good reason, of course) against the BCS that still rage in some Buffaloes fans' minds.
I was just sad about losing to Colorado by 26.
Nebraska has the 10th-ranked offense in the country that generally defaults to airing it out, ranking 15th in passing offense. The traditionally great Nebraska rushing game is somewhat dormant as the Huskers rank 37th in rushing offense.
Colorado had a great start this season, beating West Virginia and playing Florida State very competitively in non-conference play. However, since then Colorado (particularly their offense) has seemed to sputter out. Colorado was shut out by Missouri earlier this season and is averaging under 20 points per game.
But whatever you do, don't discount Colorado in this game. The team that played well at the beginning of the year has shown up a few times since then, playing Oklahoma State tough in the Buffs' previous game, and could very well show up ready to play Friday.